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Our Common Home: Promoting Inter-religious Dialogue, Peace and Reconciliation
The meeting is organized by the OAS, the Institute for Inter-religious Dialogue and the Vatican.
  • The platform for dialogue Americas in Dialogue-Our Common Home will be inaugurated on September 7 and 8 in Vatican City. The event will include the participation of Pope Francis, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, ministers from various countries of the Americas, ambassadors to the OAS, members of the judiciaries of the region, Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders, and distinguished members of the academic world, among others.

  • The Dialogue is part of the initiative “Protecting our Common Home:  Ensuring rights for more people in the Americas,” launched by the General Secretariat of the OAS and other partners, which is focused on two key areas: participatory, inclusive and inter-religious dialogue and the Rule of Law and justice.

  • The objective is to create a platform for dialogue between the countries of the OAS, that supports reconciliation and the search for solutions for the protection of our Common Home, and to produce a Plan of Action for the next three years.

The papal encyclical letter “Laudato Si,” of June 2015 is centered on the planet earth as the place where humans live in harmony with nature. “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a  sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change,” wrote Pope Francis.

In the same document, the Pope spoke of the need for reconciliation and cited Saint Bonaventure, who spoke of “universal reconciliation with every creature.” “This is a far cry from our situation today, where sin is manifest in all its destructive power in wars, the various forms of violence and abuse, the abandonment of the most vulnerable, and attacks on nature,” added the Pope.

The OAS joins forces with the papal initiative to promote an inter-religious dialogue together with the Jewish and Muslim communities to encourage peace and reconciliation among the peoples of the Americas, and to protect our Common Home, the planet.


The Role of the OAS

“The 'Laudato si' put a question to us because it has a message for humanity in general, one that goes beyond ecology and refers to the common concerns of religious traditions in caring for the environment.”

Muslim leader Omar Abboud

The Strategic Vision of the OAS approved by the General Assembly in 2014 defines the organization as "the hemispheric political forum inclusive of all the countries of the Americas, committed to the strengthening of democracy, the promotion and protection of human rights, the advancement of integral development, and the fostering of multidimensional security, all equal and interdependent, with justice and social inclusion, for the benefit of the peoples of the Americas."

Secretary General Almagro has said that “inter-religious dialogue is part of the solution to the serious problems of today´s world” because it is “an essential tool for the promotion of a more effective struggle against injustice.”

Almagro stressed the need to commit to dialogue among all religions and cultures because it "opens the doors of mutual understanding in dynamics of conflict," and "overcomes the indecency of discrimination" as well as "the empty and reactionary rhetoric of fundamentalisms."

Article 2 of the Charter of the OAS establishes as its essential purpose the strengthening of peace and security in the Hemisphere; the promotion and consolidation of representative democracy; the prevention of conflicts; and the promotion of social justice and security as the basis for lasting peace.


The Origin of the Interreligious Dialogue

“I always use the example of a ship: people aboard cannot do whatever they want, like make holes, because the ship would sink. We all share the same responsibility for our common home.”

Rabbi Daniel Goldman

The Inter-religious dialogue is an initiative of Pope Francisco dating back 16 years, when he was bishop of the city of Buenos Aires and created the Institute for Interreligious Dialogue (IDI), along with Rabbi Daniel Goldman, the Islamic leader Omar Abboud, and Catholic priest Guillermo Marcó.

Since the founding of IDI, representatives of the three religions have carried out various activities to promote dialogue between religious communities in Argentina. These included activities with teachers and students, a pledge of allegiance by students from Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim schools, cultural programs and interfaith trips, including a visit to the Pope in Vatican City highlighted in 2015.


The First Meeting

During the two day meeting, the Secretary General of the OAS will make a presentation. The event will be opened by the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Jean-Louis Tauran, while the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, Monsignor Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, will deliver a conference on the expression of dialogue. In addition, there will be a presentation about the experience of the Institute for Inter-religious Dialogue by the religious leaders Presbyter Guillermo Marcó, Mr. Omar Abboud, and Rabbi Daniel Goldman.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, September 7 there will be a plenary on experiences with intercultural and interreligious dialogue in the various countries of the Americas, which will include issues such as the environment, democracy, peace, religious diversity and dialogue among the judiciaries of the region.

On Thursday, September 8 a meeting will be held with the Pope, and there will be a presentation of the initiative “Protecting our Common Home: Guaranteeing Rights for More People in the Americas,” and a report from the Rapporteur presenting the conclusions of the event.

It is expected that at the close of the meeting a Hemispheric Network of Dialogue for the Common Home will be established; and that the basis for a Plan of Action will be agreed for the next three years focused on strengthening peace, inter-religious dialogue and reconciliation among the peoples of the Americas.

Reference: E-087/16